The Maui News - Weekender
‘Softer occupancy’ for Maui hotels in December
Association says staffing hours not affected; many properties still have vacancies
The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association “noted softer occupancy” for all of its property members in December, but that has not affected staffing hours in Maui County and many properties still have open positions that still need to be filled.
Maui County hotels in December had the lowest occupancy rate among counties across the state at nearly 64 percent, with the state overall seeing a 71.3 percent occupancy rate in December.
The highest occupancy was on Oahu with 74.4 percent, followed by Kauai with 72.1 percent and Hawaii island with 71.8 percent.
A recent report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser noted that the tourism softening has led to some trimming of payrolls in the hospitality industry.
That has not been the case with MHLA’s members, though demand does fluctuate at times.
“Staffing at resorts is based on demand, so declines occasionally impact hours, but also during peaks provide for overtime hours,” the organization said in an email this week.
The nonprofit association’s members include hotels, timeshares, resort condominiums and businesses. It lobbies for Maui County’s visitor industry on policymaking and industry-related issues on the county and state government levels, according to its website.
Overall, Maui County’s occupancy rate for December at 63.7 percent was down 4 percentage points from 2021 and down 12.8 percentage points from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The average daily rate at Maui County hotels was $734.40 in December, which was down 1 percent from 2021 and up 35.6 percent from 2019.
Revenue per available room fro Maui County hotels in December was $467.69, down 6.8 percent from 2021 and up 12.9 percent from 2019.
While occupancy was down in Maui’s luxury hotel region in Wailea in December (it had the lowest occupancy rate in the state at 54.6 percent in December), the resorts in this area continued to lead the state in average daily room rate at $1,269 and revenue per available room at $693.
Overall, compared to the rest of the state, Wailea has seen some of the most softening of occupancy and revenue per available room as compared to last year, despite its climbing room rates.
Wailea hotels’ occupancy rate of 54.6 percent in December is down 8.9 percentage points from 2021 and down 30.8 percentage points from pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The area’s $693.31 revenue per available room in December was down 8.4 percent from 2021 and down 8.7 percent from 2019.
Meanwhile, the $1,268.86 average daily room rate for Wailea in December was up 6.5 percent over 2021 and up 42.6 percent versus 2019.
In the other major resort region of Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua, occupancy for December was 66.5 percent, down 3.1 percentage points from 2021 and down 8.6 percentage points from in 2019.
The average daily room rate in West Maui in December was $615.44, which is up 4.7 percent from 2021 and up 44.9 percent from 2019.
Revenue per available room in December for West Maui hotels was $409.56, which was flat from 2021 and up 28.4 percent from 2019.
As 2022 came to a close, total statewide hotel revenue for the year was $5.5 billion, up 48.4 percent from 2021 and up 22.7 percent from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Overall, occupancy for the state last year was 73.6 percent, which is up 16.1 percentage points versus 2021 but down 7.2 percentage points versus 2019.
MHLA said that its properties note a “solid” first quarter “with concern for the year’s second half.”
The association, like others in the tourism and hospitality industry, is seeing shorter booking windows — visitor bookings normally occur three months ahead of time, but now that window is shortening with some bookings made just 15 days prior.
MHLA said this shorter booking time could also factor into the “contracted outlook” for the year’s second half.
For vacation rentals, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties in December with 209,600 available unit nights, which is up 22.1 percent versus 2021, but down 28.5 percent versus 2019, according to the Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report released recently by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Unit demand was 129,800 unit nights, which is up 12.4 percent versus 2021 and down 43.9 percent versus 2019, resulting in 61.9 percent occupancy, which is down 5.3 percentage points versus 2021 and down 17 percentage points versus 2019.
The average daily rate in December was $391, which is up 15.7 percent versus 2021 and up 40.5 percent versus 2019.